On Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008, the Customer Service Team presented the third annual Customer Service Awareness Day at the Baca Center. We had a wonderful turnout of 271 people (up from 150 last year).
Once again, the Customer Service Team recognized individuals and departments for their great customer service. Individual awards were presented from each department and a department/division award was voted on by all City employees.
In the morning, David Kautz, assistant city manager and chief financial officer, presented individual awards to acknowledge great customer service from each department with the help of councilmembers Rufus Honeycutt and George White. These awards were very popular last year and we hope to make them a tradition. Each department picked an individual who exemplified great customer service in their area. Here are the winners for Outstanding Customer Service by an Individual from each of the participating departments, pictured with Councilmembers White and Honeycutt.
Individual Award winners
Administration: Jill Goodman
Jill is cool under pressure, sharp as a tack and a delight to work with. She is a very resourceful person and is always willing to help others. She keeps a calm and friendly attitude even as things get pretty hectic in our department. She does a great job dealing with citizen concerns – listening and ensuring that an accurate response is provided to the citizen. She is definitely a team player and funny too! When she notices someone who needs help, she will make suggestions or offer information.
Building Construction & Maintenance: Joel Guerra
Joel is the example of someone who exercises great customer service. Joel is always willing to go above and beyond to complete a project and to make sure everyone is taken care of. Joel is a great person to work with; he has a great sense of humor and makes you feel comfortable when you are around him. Joel always provides exemplary service, he provides leadership for others by the way he performs his tasks in a timely and professional manner. He has taken on many new tasks over the last year and has done so with little direction. He plans and prioritizes his day and makes sure that he meets and exceeds the demands of his supervisor. Joel is a great asset to the department.
Convention and Visitors Bureau: Entire Group
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is the sales and marketing arm for the City of Round Rock. The department is charged with developing and promoting the tourism industry as part of the City’s economic diversity plan. Tourism and associated visitor spending contributes to the economy by creating additional tax revenue for the city. Another benefit is that these visitors do not require city, county or school district services.
In the four years since the CVB was created, the economic impact of its efforts totals over $51,000,000.
This is all accomplished with a team of three. Nancy Yawn, Director, Dani Timm, Marketing Specialist, and Kelly Fahrenkrug, Office Manager. Dani is responsible for creating and maintaining business partnerships with the hoteliers in the city. The CVB is funded 100% by the Hotel Occupancy Tax. Dani also assists all tournament directors, event and meeting planners with their projects, and assists in the sales efforts for new projects. Kelly handles the office/administrative duties, budget, contracts, and serves as sales assistant. She is also responsible for tracking and reporting for return on investment purposes. Marketing/public relations, website, visitor information and all other duties at the CVB are shared by the team. There is a lot going on and the CVB makes it happen.
Engineering and Development Services: Eddie Imken
Eddie is dedicated and diligent with his work. He has the respect of contractors. He expects contractors on CIP projects to meet CORR construction standards and plan specifications. He understands that unexpected circumstances in the field require onsite revisions. If the problem can not be fixed with traditional resources, he has been known to fix it himself. For Eddie there is no such thing as a problem — only challenges to be met.
Eddie has amazing rapport with the citizens of Round Rock. His patience seems to be endless. He is the crusader of citizens affected by the CIP projects he inspects. He insists that the contractors minimize the impact and inconvenience of construction activities on affected citizens. Addressing and resolving any disagreement or complaint between a resident and the contractor is one of his highest priorities.
Finance: Ibis Estrada
Ibis is very efficient in completing her daily job assignments and promptly offers to help her co-workers get their jobs done. Ibis doesn’t mind working late to finish up with a customer when needed and is often times heard speaking with a customer long after everyone has left for the day. Ibis has a great deal of experience in the customer service field and working with customers comes easily to her as well as customer satisfaction. She has adapted quickly to the processes and guidelines of the City and is an asset to the customer service field and especially to the utility billing department. Great Job Ibis!
Fire: Mike Heard
Mike Heard who leads and inspires the Rock Solid Safety Team has been tremendously successful in getting life and fire safety messages out to Round Rock children. He has been instrumental the implementation of several exciting and imaginative programs that teaches elementary children fire and life safety with clowns, puppets, music, magic and more. The messages include using matches/lighters as tools, not toys; checking smoke detectors; wearing helmets on bikes; and wearing seatbelts in vehicles. The Team not only performs at Round Rock’s elementary schools every year, it frequently works with fire departments in other cities to help them develop similar programs.
Human Resources: Becky Martinez
In August 2006 Becky Martinez joined the Human Resources team after working with the Finance department for over twenty-three years. With her wealth of experience, positive attitude, and welcoming personality she is often employees’ “go to” person for Human Resources questions and occasionally a Payroll question too. Being a “go to” person requires Becky to know a little (or a lot) about many different things. Becky is a resource within the Human Resources department and the organization on not only current policies, procedures, and practices but also historical practices and procedures. It is with great respect that Human Resources would like to acknowledge Becky Martinez as our 2008 Outstanding Customer Service Award recipient.
Information Services: Gail Simpson
Gail displays what customer service should be! She always has a heartfelt smile on her face, and is always willing to help out in any situation. She provides great customer service to those inside and outside of our department, and always gives 100 percent of herself to all she does. Gail is a great asset to the city, and she is very much appreciated everyday!
Library: Dora Owens
Dora efficiently and cheerfully orders supplies, makes copies, makes meeting room reservations, and so much more for fellow staff members and the public. She is always willing to lend a helping hand without being asked do to so. She takes her job seriously and does it very professionally, especially as she works with customers. She is always stretched in many directions but she never complains and always keeps a positive attitude. Dora’s excellent customer service skills are a great asset to the library.
Municipal Court: Bea King
Bea knows her job well and is always willing to help. She doesn’t mind answering questions from defendants as well as her co-workers. She always shows the defendants the respect and courtesy they deserve. Her excellent customer service skills and being able to service the Hispanic community is a big asset to the City of Round Rock. She is efficient, courteous, and patient with the customers. Bea is dedicated, is able to multi-task customers, phones, mail, faxes, and does this on a daily basis. She processes walk-in defendants quickly and in a professional manner.
Parks and Recreation: Estaban Ramirez
Estaban is always ready and willing to help with a smile on his face! He communicates and clarifies any assignment and no job is too big or too small! He trouble shoots and is not afraid to suggest or offer different alternatives to complete tasks in a tactful and respectful manner. He handles everything professionally.
He has received letters of appreciation from customers of rental events he has assisted with saying, “Estaban is an amazing asset to your department! He is an incredible help and a pleasure to be around!” How easy everything would be if we all had Estaban’s attitude!
PARD — Clay Madsen Recreation Center: Janie Flores
CMRC is proud to recognize Janie Flores as our Customer Service winner. Janie’s friendly attitude creates a positive environment for everyone. She goes beyond the call of duty when helping customers each day. Janie is very respectful and will seek out information on issues that may arise that need clarification; she known for following up with the customers in a timely manner with the most current and correct information. She is courteous, consistent and always willing to help her teammates with a smile. Customers request to speak to Janie because she is enjoyable, informative, and respectful at all times. Her demeanor shows that she enjoys her job and really cares for the community she serves. Great job Janie!
Planning & Community Development: Brad Wiseman
Since joining the Planning Dept. in August 2007, Brad Wiseman has consistently demonstrated exemplary customer service with both internal and external customers. Brad has exceptional listening skills and always demonstrates tact and professionalism when communicating with others. His ability to handle difficult situations with a positive demeanor raises his customer service to an even higher level. Brad Wiseman encompasses all the qualities needed to provide exceptional customer service and is therefore deserving of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.
Police: Juan Rodriguez
Juan is always happy, polite and courteous. Even when it has been a rough day you see this man happy in his work and happy to stop and say hello. It is refreshing to see someone so enthused about their work and the place they work at. Juan greets everyone with a smile, and is always willing to help anyone who needs it. He is dedicated to his work, and goes out of his way to please people. He is one of the hardest working individuals we have, and he always has a smile.
PW Planning, Programs & Administration: John Bader
The Planning, Programs and Administration Award winner represents the true spirit of Customer Service. Their “can-do” attitude shows how much pride they take in their work. This employee is very talented at what they do and has a deep commitment to their job.
This employee provides prompt, courteous and professional service to all staff; and is a great asset to the entire Public Works organization. This employee always has a positive attitude and is always working to find new solutions to any issue we have. He listens to staff and provides timely and cost-effective solutions and then makes sure we have what we need to do our jobs. He goes above and beyond – – working weekends when necessary to make sure we remain up and running. It is this type of attitude and customer service that makes him such an exceptional employee.
A City employee for almost 8 years, he plays an integral part in the day-to-day operations of all eight (8) Public Works Operations locations. Assisting with over 240 City employees’ computer and technology equipment needs, as well as keeping all Public Works systems and equipment operational, this employee truly is deserving of recognition for the Customer Service he provides. The Public Works Planning, Programs and Administration Customer Service Individual Division Award Winner is John Bader.
Transportation: Bonnie Cordova
Bonnie was unanimously chosen from our department. Bonnie handles over 25 calls a day ranging from irate citizens wanting the grass behind their house mowed, to failing roads. She is always helpful and courteous, and does whatever she can to satisfy the customers needs. Many of the issues are completely out of our control, but she always gives the extra effort to help those affected find a solution to whatever their concern is. Bonnie is a great ambassador for the City, and a great asset to our department.
Water/Wastewater Utility: Jeff Knebel
Jeff provides outstanding customer service to both our internal and external customers. Internally, Jeff is always ready to lend a hand and take on recycling pick-up duties, when the usual staff isn’t available, to help keep the City buildings clutter free. He is always courteous and quick to offer his help to other departments who need citizen complaint site visits or services the Environmental department can provide.
Externally, Jeff does a fantastic job of projecting a positive City image to all his Pretreatment Compliance clients. These clients include all the non-domestic businesses and industries that use our wastewater system. No business likes to be regulated, inspected, and required to do paperwork. However, Jeff is always ready to provide his expertise to “industry customers” and support them with all technical information they may need to know. He plainly explains the City, state, and federal regulations to assist the industries to understand and stay in compliance. We have never seen him get impatient or negative with customers, even when they call repeatedly about the same issues or failed to meet well defined deadlines and guidelines. All of his dealings are handled professionally, with integrity, and in a friendly manner. Jeff’s excellent customer service helps to foster responsibility while keeping Round Rock a great place to do business.
Water/Wastewater Utility: Justin Marshall
Justin has demonstrated the department’s mission to ensure adequate resources to our customers by responding to customer complaints in a timely manner. Most customers are upset due to the inconvenience it can cause when their sewer line backs up. Justin assures the customer that the city will do all it can to remedy the concern as soon as possible. The department has programs to help reduce backups in the collection system. Without this, things could be a lot worse for our customers. We have several examples from our residents’ survey expressing their happiness with Justin’s service. One customer survey card reads, he performed a magnificent job in helping with the sewer problem. Another customer survey card reads, “Came out the same day. Repair was done promptly and efficiently.” Justin has received a total of eight survey cards in just a couple of months.
All City employees had the opportunity to vote online for the Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division Award during the week of Sept. 15. David Kautz, chief financial officer and assistant city manager, presented the award in the afternoon session.
Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division: Building Construction and Facility Maintenance
Building Construction and Facility Maintenance give great service and are always happy to help with whatever you ask for. Their staff works so hard with minimum resources. Also, they always have a great attitude and a willingness to do their job correctly. Often they are called on in an emergency and are pulled every which way to numerous tasks. Somehow they manage to keep everyone happy. Rolando and his crew are the best. They are always willing to jump in help even with the little things.
Out of all the divisions in the City, Building Construction and Facility Maintenance has to deal with the most diverse cross section of internal customers, which includes all City Departments. Regardless of the work they are asked to do, they are always cheerful, courteous and eager to get the job done right. When talking to other departments, I hear nothing but compliments and that they are willing to go the extra mile. In my opinion, the Building Construction and Facility Maintenance division exemplifies customer service. They take great care in ensuring our needs are taken care of. A great asset to the City of Round Rock.
Congratulations to our winners!
All pictures by Arnold Wells.